11 Brilliant Gifts for the Teacher in Your Life

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iStock

Few people play such an important role in young lives (and parents’ lives) as teachers. Whether they lead kindergarten or university classes, educators work tirelessly to serve their pupils—and don’t always get rewarded as well as they should. Give back this holiday season with gifts that are (mostly) classroom ready.

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1. A Thank You Note; Free

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Sometimes the best things in life don’t cost anything at all. Let your favorite teacher know how much they’re appreciated with a hand-written note. Chances are, they don’t hear it enough.

2. The Art of Caramel

This sweet and salty gift box includes four different flavors of caramel corn, like Kentucky Bourbon Black Pepper and Honey Graham. Each flavor is designed to accompany the bottle of wine included—a 2016 Dime Red Blend from Sonoma, California. Give it to one teacher who really needs a break, or split up the flavors and hand them out to several teachers.

Find It at Winc for $50.

3. Library Card Tote Bag

This cotton tote bag lets the wearer proclaim their love of reading and nostalgia for analog catalog systems. It has a useful little pocket inside to keep keys or a cell phone accessible and it's perfect for carrying home heavy textbooks or lesson-plan binders.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $20.

4. Personalized Moleskine Notebooks

Taking down notes and making to-do lists can be a personal activity, and these notebooks reflect that. For an extra $5, they can be personalized with any text (up to 12 characters), giving you the opportunity to emboss them with a brief thank you note or the recipient’s name.

Find It at Moleskine for $20 and up.

5. Hot Chocolate Sticks

Three hot chocolate sticks
Amazon

Available in dark, milk, and white chocolate flavors, these hot chocolate sticks are a great no-fuss treat for busy teachers. All they have to do is swirl one around in hot milk for one or two minutes to make delicious hot chocolate. The six-pack gift box has two of each flavor and comes wrapped in a brown bow.

Find It at Amazon for $14 and at these other retailers:

6. Percy The Pencil Porcupine

This porcupine-shaped pencil holder is both utilitarian and whimsical, letting your favorite educator show some desktop flair. It’s made from glazed clay and stands about 4 inches tall, with room to hold more than a dozen pencils.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $19 and at these other retailers:

7. Classroom Supply Pack

Some teachers need classroom supplies more than they need trinkets and holiday sweets. Amazon’s classroom supply pack bundles together basics like pencils, art paper, notebooks, facial tissue, hand sanitizer, and glue sticks. Even if your favorite educator doesn’t need a new pair of scissors for their classroom, one of their deserving students might.

Find It at Amazon for $40.

8. Great Quotes from Great Leaders Boxed Calendar

Great Quotes for Great Leaders Calendar
Amazon

Bring some inspiration to the classroom by gifting your teacher this 2019 calendar. Each day of the year features a different quote from one of the world’s foremost leaders and thinkers, from Mahatma Gandhi to Thomas Jefferson to Queen Victoria. They’ll hopefully learn something new, and their students will, too.

Find It at Amazon for $7.

9. 2019 Wildwood Planner

Front cover of the planner
Rifle Paper Co

A brand new planner is a great way to get a fresh start. Help your teacher gear up for 2019 with this beautifully crafted planner, which features a floral pattern on the cover and gold-colored accents throughout. It’s filled with inspirational quotes, a pocket in the back, and perhaps most excitingly, three sheets of stickers.

Find It at Rifle Paper and Co. for $34 and at these other retailers:

10. Fund A Classroom Project

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

If you really want to help out a classroom, give some cash to a local project on DonorsChoose.org, a site that allows schools and educators to crowdfund classroom projects. Help purchase computers or printers for the classroom, sound systems for dance classes, standard classroom materials, and more.

Find It at DonorsChoose.org.

11. Amazon Gift Card

If you don’t know exactly what kind of supplies a classroom needs, leave it up to the teacher in question by giving an Amazon gift card. Whether they’re looking to fund an art project or just buy basic supplies for kids, they’ll be able to put the money to good use.

Find It at Amazon.

10 Ways to Get Your Caffeine Fix Without Coffee

iStock.com. Photo illustration: Rebecca O'Connell
iStock.com. Photo illustration: Rebecca O'Connell

Looking to get an extra buzz without drinking another cup of coffee? Luckily, sleepy people everywhere have created a huge market for all things caffeine-related. Here are some more unusual products that will give you a buzz.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Perk Energy Bracelet

A woman wearing a Perk bracelet
Perk, Amazon

These bracelets administer caffeine right through your skin. They're lined with energy patches that provide the same amount of caffeine as a medium cup of coffee, according to Perk, but over the course of four hours to prevent jitters or crashing. Because the caffeine isn't going through your digestive system, the effects are also stronger and hit faster. Each bracelet comes with 30 caffeine patches to get you started.

Buy it on Amazon for $40.

2. Viter Energy Mints

Six light blue tins of energy mints
Viter Energy, Amazon

Worried about getting coffee breath? Viter Energy mints will make your mouth minty fresh while putting a pep in your step. Each mint has 40 milligrams of caffeine, so eating two mints is about the same as an 8-ounce cup of coffee. (The caffeine content of coffee varies from brand to brand, but according to the Mayo Clinic, an 8-ounce brewed coffee might contain anywhere from 95 to 165 milligrams of caffeine, while an espresso will around 47 to 64 milligrams. A tall dark-roast brewed coffee at Starbucks contains 193 milligrams.) These mints have a "strong and intense wintergreen flavor and menthol kick” as the makers describe it, but they also come in spearmint, cinnamon, chocolate mint, and peppermint flavors.

Buy them on Amazon for $20 for six tins.

3. Shower Shock Caffeinated Soap

Showers are about to get a lot more energizing—no freezing cold water needed. This vegetable-based glycerine soap from ThinkGeek is made with caffeine to give your morning a jump start even before your first cup of coffee. Each Shower Shock bar packs about 200 milligrams of caffeine per use. (Each bar is about 12 servings.) It also has a refreshing peppermint smell—but no, it's not edible.

Buy it from ThinkGeek for $8 or from Amazon for $16.

4. pureLYFT Energy Stir Sticks

Boxes of pureLYFT stir sticks near citrus fruit
pureLYFT, Amazon

Now you can add caffeine to any beverage you like with a stick that you can swirl into your drink. The plastic sticks are filled with crystals that dissolve after just 10 seconds of stirring. Each packs 125 milligrams of caffeine. You can opt for the plain version or try flavors like orange, mixed berry, and lemon-lime.

Buy them on Amazon for $13 per pack of six or at these other retailers:

5. OGX Fight Fallout Shampoo

A brown bottle of OGX shampoo
OGX, Walmart

Energize your scalp with caffeine-infused shampoo. While this shower addition might not actually wake you up, some studies have suggested that caffeine may (slightly) help with hair loss. OGX claims their shampoo helps thicken hair and keep it on your head. The company also makes a conditioner and a "root stimulator" spray with the same ingredients.

Buy it from Walmart for $12 or at these other retailers:

6. Power Toothpaste

Say goodbye to groggily brushing your teeth. Power Toothpaste is infused with caffeine that quickly kicks in as soon as you're done with your oral hygiene routine. Each tube has enough mint-flavored paste for 90 brushes with roughly 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving.

Buy it from Power Toothpaste for $15 or from Amazon for $20 (with Prime shipping).

7. HeroEC Energy Water

A 12-pack of water bottles
Hero Water, Amazon

Swap out your coffee for something a little more refreshing. This hydrating water from Hero Water comes with electrolytes and 60 milligrams of caffeine, without the bitter aftertaste of coffee.

Buy it on Amazon for $20 for a pack of 12.

8. Jolt Energy Gum

A box of Jolt Energy Gum
Jolt, Amazon

Based on the popular soda, Jolt Energy Gum comes packed with guarana, ginseng, and 40 milligrams of caffeine per serving. The spearmint and "icy mint" flavors are designed to deliver a minty kick that's sure to keep you up for a while.

Buy it on Amazon for $20 per pack of 12 (120 pieces total).

9. First Aid Beauty Matcha Wake Up Wipes

A pack of facial wipes
First Aid Beauty, Amazon

Start the morning right with a clean and refreshed face. These caffeine matcha wipes remove dirt, soothe with aloe, and wake you up. The caffeine reduces puffiness and redness, too. Each pack comes with 25 wipes designed for all skin types.

Buy it on Amazon for $7 and at these other retailers:

10. Eagle Energy Caffeine Infused Inhaler

A three-pack of caffeine inhalers
Eagle Energy, Amazon

Made with guarana extract, ginseng, and vitamin B12, Eagle Energy’s caffeine inhaler is a sugar-free, calorie-free way to get your energy boost. According to the company, “Eagle uses a customized heating system that creates a vapor and is engineered to maximize caffeine bioavailability and prevent the creation of any unintended by-products.” Because the caffeine is inhaled, it only takes three to five minutes to kick in.

Buy it on Amazon for $26 per pack of three.

The 3 Best Mattresses You Can Order Online Right Now

iStock.com/diego_cervo
iStock.com/diego_cervo

President’s Day is quickly creeping up, and you know what that means: Everyone and their mother will be shopping for new mattresses (which traditionally go on sale over the holiday weekend). However, if you don’t feel like fighting off the crowds at your local mattress outlet, there are plenty of great online deals you can take advantage of—and you don't have to sift through a thousand reviews to find a great one. Check out our buying guide to the three comfiest mattresses on the market right now from Leesa, Allswell, and Linenspa.

1. Leesa’s Universal Adaptive Feel Memory Foam Cooling Mattress

Leesa's universal adaptive feel memory foam cooling mattress
Leesa, Amazon

Do you kick off the covers in the middle of the night because you get too hot? Try Leesa’s 10-inch-tall cooling mattress. It has three unique foam layers: The first layer is designed to keep you cool, while the second offers body-contouring comfort, and the third helps relieve pressure and provide core support. The “adaptive feel” label refers to the fact that it adapts to your body no matter what your preferred sleeping position may be. The mattress comes in twin through California king sizes, with prices starting at $375.

Buy it on Amazon or from Leesa's website, where you can get 15 percent off plus two free pillows this weekend.

2. Allswell’s Luxe Hybrid Mattress

This extra-thick mattress is so popular that it frequently sells out from Allswell and at other retailers. It packs 12 inches of high-end material into one mattress, including quilted memory foam and an outer layer designed keep you cool in hot weather. Similar mattresses tend to go for thousands of dollars, but the Luxe Hybrid retails for far less. Prices start at $345 for a twin, $485 for a full, $585 for a queen, or $745 for a king. (Not sure about the difference in mattress sizes? We've got you covered.)

Buy it from Allswell's website, where you can save 15 percent through February 20 using the offer code 15FORALL. It's also available at these retailers:

3. Linenspa’s memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress

The Linenspa memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress
Linenspa, Amazon

Amazon customers swear by Linenspa’s hybrid mattress, which comes in sizes twin ($96) through California king ($198). Ideal for people who like medium-firm mattresses, it combines the benefits of memory foam with the support one gets from a traditional innerspring mattress. The standard version is 8 inches thick, but Linenspa also offers a 10-inch version in all sizes. (We also love the company's incredibly affordable down-alternative duvet, which is $50 off right now on Amazon.)

Buy it on Amazon, where the 8-inch queen mattress is currently 18 percent off ($156).

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